Hybrid solar eclipse on 3rd November 2013 and the difference between total, annular and hybrid eclipses

The year 2013 is not particularly exciting as far as eclipses are concerned  But at the end of the year we'll get a chance to witness a rare event. On the 3rd November 2013 there is going to be a hybrid solar eclipse. Now before i go into detail let me first explain what a hybrid solar eclipse really is. A total solar eclipse is the one in which the moon completely obscures the bright light of the Sun in such a way that the solar corona becomes extremely faint. An annular eclipse is the one in which the Earth is at such a distance from the Sun, that the Relative size of the Sun appears to be larger than the moon. Hence the Sun appears as a very bright ring,(as shown in the above picture). Whereas a hybrid eclipse is the one in which from some points on the Earth it's visible as a total eclipse whereas from other points it appears as an annular eclipse. The last hybrid eclipse had occurred on  8th April 2005. The Sun would be located in the Libra constellation. Partial solar eclipse would begin at 19:38 (UTC), total solar eclipse at 20:35 (UTC), greatest eclipse at 22:13(UTC), total end 23:48(UTC) and partial end at 0:45(UTC).
(These are the places from where the eclipse would be visible)
For more information on eclipses go to -http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/eclipse.html 

How to identify Centaurus and Crux

            This is the constellation called Centaurus. It's a constellation present in the southern hemisphere but it is visible from the northern hemisphere during summer. The alpha star of Centaurus is Rigil kentaurus which is a star system consisting of Proxima centauri A, B and C. Proxima centauri C is also the closest star to our solar system. The problem with this constellation is that it is a little difficult to recognize. So the best way of recognizing it would be to first find the constellation Crux also known as the southern cross.Crux consists of four bright stars they are Gacrux, Mimosa, Acrux and Delta Crucius. On the left hand side of the star Mimosa you would notice two really bright stars these are Rigil kent. and Hadar which form the two front hooves of the centaur. Once you find these two stars you should be able to trace the rest of the constellation using a stellar chart. The other way of locating this constellation would be to first locate Lupus. This constellation is located below Scorpius and Libra and Lupus is the wolf that the Centaur is trying to kill. So Centaurus is located on the right side of Lupus.
            Centaurus has quite a few deep sky objects in it. NGC 5128 is one of the closest active galaxies to the Milky Way. It has an apparent magnitude of 7. It is said that it was created after an elliptical galaxy collided with a spiral galaxy. The dust cloud seen in the picture is because of the spiral galaxy.
It has a 8th magnitude planetary nebula also known as the blue planetary nebula.
It also consists of one of the largest and the brightest star cluster in the sky known as the omega cluster or NGC 5139. It covers an area larger than the full moon and appears as a 4th magnitude star. It is at a distance of around 17000 light years.
These are just a few prominent objects in the constellation. It has got many more relatively fainter nebulas, galaxied and star clusters.
(This is just a map giving the exact location of the deep sky objects)

How to identify Leo, Leo triplet and the role of Leo in Greek mythology

The constellation Leo lies on the Ecliptic between Virgo and Cancer. It consists of nine bright stars which are Regulus, Chertan, Denebola, Zosma, Algieba, Eta leonis, Adhafera, Rasalas and Elased. The brightest of them being Regulus which is a blue white star of apparent magnitude 1.4. Leo lies exactly below Ursa Major its head pointing in the direction of the big dipper whereas the star Denebola which also forms its tail pointing  in the direction of the dipper handle. In order to locate Regulus simply join the two stars, Dubhe and Merak  of the Ursa Major constellation and then extend that line the first bright star on the line would be Regulus. Once you've identified Regulus try to imagine an inverted question mark on top of Regulus. The names of the stars from the top are Elased, Rasalas, Adhafera, Algieba, Eta Leonis and finally Regulus. If you follow the pictures then you should be able to spot the lion. If you have a decent sized telescope and a clear night sky then there are few things that you should not miss while observing this constellation. One of the biggest attraction in the Leo constellation is the Leo triplet there are three galaxies which appear to be fairly close to each other, they are M95, M96 and M105. These three galaxies are around 9 and 10 magnitude. Apart from the Leo triplet there's aslo the M65 and M66 galaxy.
(The Leo triplet as seen from a deep field telescope)
Now lets move on to the mythology surrounding this constellation. According to the Greek mythology Eurystheus had given 12 tasks to Hercules. His first task was to bring back the pelt of the Nemean lion. It was said that the lions pelt was impenetrable. First Hercules tried to kill the lion with arrows but as its fur was impenetrable, he couldn't kill it. Eventually Hercules used his club and strangled the lion to death. But his task was not yet over as he had to remove the lions pelt and couldn't use his knife. Athena the goddess of wisdom noticed the heroes struggle and told him to use the lions' own claws to skin it's pelt. In order to immortalize this event Zeus, the king of Gods and the God of the sky put the lion in the celestial in the form of the Leo constellation. 
(This is how the Leo constellation would appear, although if you live in a place where there is a lot of light or where the air is relatively polluted then the constellation might not appear this bright)

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